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WHO Emergency Committee On MERS Says Situation Not An Emergency

“After discussing the latest developments, the [WHO’s] emergency committee on the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) decided today that the MERS situation still does not amount to an international public health emergency,” CIDRAP News reports. However, “the panel felt that the situation is still of concern in view of ongoing cases and new information about the presence of the virus in camels, [a] statement [from the WHO] said,” the news service notes (12/4). “Although it still does not consider the events to constitute a [Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)], the committee reinforced its previous advice for consideration by WHO and Member States,” which includes strengthening surveillance, “continuing to increase awareness and effective risk communication,” “supporting countries that are particularly vulnerable,” “increasing relevant diagnostic testing capacities,” “continuing with investigative work” about the source of the virus and relevant exposure, and “timely sharing of information,” according to the WHO statement (12/4).